Norwich Sleep Out raises record £39,000 in aid of vulnerable young homeless people

Charity staff getting ready for the 2017 Sleep Out at Archant. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Charity staff getting ready for the 2017 Sleep Out at Archant. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

A charity sleep out event has raised a record £39,000 in aid of vulnerable young people in Norfolk.

The Benjamin Foundation's annual Norwich sleep out saw 120 people brave the elements on a cold November night last year.

It took place in the EDP and Norwich Evening News office car park on Rouen Road and gave people a taste of what life is like sleeping rough.

The charity, which helps homeless people get off the streets, said the 2018 sleep out raised the most money in the event's history.

Chris Elliott, the charity's marketing and fundraising manager, said the money was already having a direct impact.

'We have ring-fenced an initial £18,000 of the sleep out money to be accessed by the young people in our accommodation,' he said.

'Our staff at these services help the young people living with us focus on their aspirations and help them on their path to a stable and independent future.'

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The Benjamin Foundation provides a home and support to more than 100 vulnerable young adults in Norfolk and Suffolk to prevent them from becoming homeless.

Mr Elliott said: 'Through discussion with our support workers, each young person can decide how best the money can help them and they can have access to £150 each.

'For instance, if they're ready to move into their own home then buying some essential household items may be the priority.

'For others it could fund a training course or items that support their education.'

He said such support provides young people with the 'building blocks they need' for independence.

One of the biggest supporters of last year's Norwich Sleep Out - the third time the event has been held - was law firm Mills & Reeve, who brought 27 people to the event.

Mr Elliott said: 'We would like to thank everybody who supported last November's Sleep Out events including the participants, volunteers who helped run the event, our hosts Archant and Archers's Butchers who provided some food.

'They've all had a direct impact on improving the future of vulnerable local young adults.'

The charity said it was already working on Norwich Sleep Out 2018 and details will be announced in the next few weeks. Contact

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